US Moves in Syria Irk Russia, Turkey

30 2018 shows a convoy of US military vehicles driving through Syria's northern city of Manbij | AFP

Trump also threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if the country hit the Kurds living in Syria. He then added: "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey".

Their exit has not just alarmed the nation's Kurds, but even Christians in the country are afraid of what could happen after the USA troops leave, says Bassam Ishak, president of the Syriac National Council of Syria and a US representative of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a USA -backed Kurdish group.

While Turkey aims to pursue the Kurdish forces allied with the USA, the Russia- and Iran-backed Syrian government sees a chance to recover extensive territory.

"Turkey expects the U.S. to honour our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda".

The latest comments follow tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State group jihadists.

Trump did not detail who would create, enforce or pay for the safe zone, or where it would be located. US President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that the United States have defeated the IS forces in Syria, which is the only reason for the US troops being there.

He called the Syria pullout "long overdue" but said the USA would still hit "the little remaining Isis territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms", Trump said, using a different acronym for IS.




USA forces have fought alongside a Kurdish militia in northern Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group. Ankara is critical of the USA support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, arguing that terrorists make up the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated alliance.

Washington, however, considers the group as an effective force in the fight against IS.

How many United States troops are in Syria?

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained over USA backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.

But, he added, "we also know that those are fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well".

Ankara has long condemned Washington for its military relationship with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), its main ally in the war against ISIL in Syria for several years.

"We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those: that protects the Turks from legitimate terror threats, and prevents any substantial risk to the folks who don't present terror risks to Turkey", Pompeo said, without elaborating on how each side would be protected.

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